This month’s I Am Social Work campaign features Kate Schofield, MSW, Director of Therapeutic Foster Family Program and Adoption Navigation Services at Northeast Parent & Child Society.
Like many undergraduate students I thought I had my future goals set. Though it took a little time, I was certain I wanted to be a doctor. I was taking all the right classes, prepping for the Medical College Admissions Test, and of course trying to get medical experience wherever I could. This led me to shadow a social worker at a clinic for people with HIV/AIDS. I remember having no idea what a social worker even did. I got to the clinic and began watching an amazing woman helping all of these people get their needs meet. I would watch as she would talk with each client with care and compassion. She would sit quietly while the doctor spent 15 minutes with the client going over their health needs. When the doctor would leave, it was almost always clear that the clients needed way more than medication. Without the social worker, most would not have been able to manage the multiple external forces that made medication management even possible. I left that day, set aside my studying and never thought about becoming a doctor again.
I knew social work was for me because of its focus on the person as part of a larger system. No person stands alone and for true change to occur there most often are changes that need to occur on multiple levels. Policy was my favorite class as I believed that affective policies often led to better outcomes for people. I continue to believe this today.
For the last 10 years I have been fortunate to work for a nonprofit agency that provides services to children and families in the capital district area. I worked specifically with the therapeutic foster family program. I began my career at this agency as the clinician for child and families that were in foster care. I then moved into the role of coordinator for an office that oversaw the care of children in foster homes. After doing that for a year, I became the director of the program and now oversee multiple offices that provide foster care services spanning over nine upstate New York counties. Recently I have also begun to oversee post-adoption services. This has been an incredible experience for me as it integrates both my personal knowledge as a parent of adopted children with my years of profession work in foster care.
I am a social worker because I truly believe that helping people is not just about looking at the individual person, but how that person is impacted by the world they live in. I am a social worker because I believe we are capable of great things if we all work together for the greater good.
Kate Schofield, MSW
Director of Therapeutic Foster Family Program and Adoption Navigation Services
Northeast Parent & Child Society
The I Am Social Work Campaign is a visual campaign to showcase the profession of social work and the people who dedicate their lives to it. By highlighting the innumerable ways social workers enhance their communities and workplaces, and by showing off the vibrant, dedicated personalities of social workers, we are hoping to foster a broader understanding of who social workers are and what they do.
To learn more about the I Am Social Work campaign and other featured social workers, visit https://naswnys.org/iamsocialwork